Here we are… only a few days into the new year, and it hits….. No not just the freezing cold, gray white darkness of deep winter. I mean the “the holidays are over, and all of the frenzy to get there, and enjoy those celebrations are over”, now what!!! I am learning something about myself that may well hold true for others. There is a kind of a relief that the stress of the busyness, parties, obligatory social events, and such are done. But there is also a stillness, a void that takes some adjusting to. Right?
From my research it seems that post holiday “blues” is common to around 80% of Americans. The actual triggers for the blues may be very specific to each person, but there are factors that will enhance or reduce the likelihood of the blues having big impact on your life.
Here are a few factors to consider:
- Diet – holidays a re filled with rich and sweet foods that are not a part of our daily diet. Take time to return to a routine. Several websites recommend increasing fresh vegetables and fruit consumption, and drinking more water.
- Dehydration – Surprising to learn how many small and large symptoms have to do with lack of enough water consumption. Small aches, headaches, and bone pain may be just dehydration signals.
- Rest – While we can never catch up on lost sleep, take advantage of the cold dark winter nights to get a bit more sleep. Sleep has the ability to renew and revitalize everything – most importantly our perspective.
- Seasonal Light Changes – Shorter days and less light can bother us. Its a medical condition called Seasonal Light Affect. We need that vitamin D that the bright sunshine brings. If you are noticing that you leave or come home when its dark you may want to invest in a sun lamp and spend a bit of time in front of it during the dark winter months
- Alcohol consumption – reduce the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume, replacing with water, coffee or tea. Alcohol can enhance thoughts of depression and discouragement
- Loss of the busy frenzy of your schedule – give yourself slack – allow the slower pace to happen, without guilt. Allow yourself to return to a normal schedule in your daily life,
So box up the last of your decorations, and as you pack everything up plan to pack away those blues. Instead of focusing on those down thoughts do something different like:
- Pick up a new book to read
- Take a class in something that you want to learn. You dont have to go to a college to do that… there are plenty of places online that are affordable, and easy to follow. (coursera.com; udemy.com; or lydia.com offer reasonable classes)
- Learn a new language
- Take up a new hobby, or take on a small project around the house.
- Volunteer somewhere. Perhaps it is tutoring school kids, or reading to senior citizens. Get out and give of yourself to others.
- Begin a blog, journal, or book – writing can be very cathartic. Not only do you get your thoughts written down, but you have the opportunity to refine your thoughts, and possibly market them to the world!!!!
So what am i doing to fight my post holiday blues? Tons of things :
- I am working on my spare room – purging stuff, and finally turning that room into something functional for use. When i am done i hope to have new wallpaper up on the walls, a big desk set for me to work from, and a clutter free zone that is my refuge……
- I am updating our business website. We brainstormed a ton of things and there is always room for improvement…. so bring it on. (this has forced me to take a class to improve my html web design skills! yeah!!!)
- Business stuff – Our calendar is out and we are planning 2018 for Images in Bloom. We love those art festivals, and really enjoy the opportunity to travel and meet people. But this year we are refining our schedule to be more efficient. And we are closing out the books on 2017, preparing taxes, paying sales and use tax and crunching the numbers to see how good the year really was. December was a record month, and i think we were up over 2016… but we are still in process there.
- Winter nesting! At least that is what my mom always called it. Nothing better than a day at home with great smells coming from the kitchen, the laundry almost done, and the house spic and span clean. Those days a re rare for me but i relish them. I have a ton of recipes to make, and a hunger for just the simplicity of enjoying being home.
- teaching a few classes – I have three silk play days scheduled for January, so i will be busy on Saturdays for a while… but that is not just business, it is fun. I love the idea that complete strangers come to play, learn how to paint on silk, and go home having made friends, gotten creative, and make art they can wear.
- taking pauses and deep breaths as needed,
And i hope you do too, Don’t let the winter blues get a grip on you… the time spent with the blues is just not worth it!!